Sorry! Did it again – Chapter 15
The car was silent.
“Why were you considering buying a machine?” Mary asked Cliff. “Trying to act like ‘Mr. Bigshot’ in front of the doctor.”
“No, I was just trying to figure out if we could do it.”
“What are you talking about? How could we do it?”
“I don’t know, that was what I was trying to figure out.”
Cliff was getting angry. “We could take out a mortgage on the house. I don’t know we could do something maybe. At least I am trying to come up with a solution.”
“How dare you! Look at you, the big man trying to make everything right since his poor wife doesn’t care or can’t cope.”
“You can’t cope,” Cliff yelled. “It is going to take you days to wrap your head around this and we don’t have that sort of time.”
“Take me home I won’t be able to go back to work.”
“See!” Cliff triumphed.
Mary started to open her door. “Stop the car!”
Cliff pulled over and Mary got out. “Walking home?”
Her lack of response was all of the information Cliff needed. He pulled away from the sidewalk and continued back to The Garage. He could now understand why so many marriages failed after the death of a child. Each parent wants to take out their anger on the other.
“How did it go?” Cecil asked.
“Not great,” Cliff replied.
“Oh…well…one day at a time I guess,” Cecil said uncomfortably.
“Yeah, there is always an upside, right?”
“Right,” Cecil agreed. “What’s with the arm?”
Cecil’s question reminded Cliff of his throbbing arm. “Burnt it on a manifold this morning.” Cliff walked away as Cecil shook his head.
“Cliff I hate to rush you, but that car has to be out of here by three.”
Cliff changed into his coveralls and check under the rag. Dr. Bob was right it was and odd looking burn. None of the skin edges looked burned. He sniffed his arm. No barbeque smell either. He went back to the car on the hoist. He looked up under the engine and tried to see where he burned his arm. Just as before he could not see how the exhaust was able to burn the back of his wrist. He carefully reached his other arm up into the engine bay. He kept his hand away from the exhaust and decided to use the intake plenum as a guide. CHRIST! He did it again. He pulled his arm out as fast as he could.
“What are you doing over there genius?” Joe yelled from the other side of the shop.
Joe was looking at the red area on his arm. “I’m not sure.”
“Great. Maybe you’re having a stroke.”
“Maybe,” Cliff mumbled. He was examining his arm. Dr. Bob was right, he thought as he looked at the red welt. It wasn’t blistering like a burn. He looked up at the engine again and then at his arm. There was no doubt. He was getting burned by the intake plenum. He just stood there staring up at the engine bay. That does not make any sense. The intake is not supposed to get hot and it definitely is not supposed to hold heat. He went over to the bench and grabbed a welding glove. He placed it on his hand and reached up and touched the plenum. He pulled his hand down and touched the glove with his bare hand. Cold! Really cold. What the! He reached up again and sure enough it was ice cold. He didn’t have a heat burn, he had a freezer burn! Just like an old piece of steak.
His dazed look and lack of action caught Cecil’s attention. “Hey Cliff! What are you doing? We gotta get that thing out of here fast. Quit goofing around. You got Flanagan’s car too.”
“Right chief. I’ll be done in a minute.” Cliff focused on the job and started to wrap up the certification on the Lamborghini. Thirty minute later, he was passing the paperwork to Cecil.
“Thanks Cliff,” Cecil said as he took the forms. “They were putting a lot of pressure on me to get this one out of here this afternoon.”
“The owner,” replied Cecil.
“Who is the owner?” Cliff wondered out loud.
“Not sure. It is going to Atlanta.”
“Someone coming to drive it?”
Cecil looked down at his notes, “Nah, its being trucked.”
“Who is driving it to the depot?”
Cecil looked at his notes again. “Nobody, the truck is picking it up here.”
Cecil gave Cliff an annoyed look. “I don’t know. I just called them. They didn’t say. Why all the questions?’
“No reason,” Cliff said. He was looking out the window and noticed a truck entering the parking lot. “I think they’re here.”
Cecil turned around and saw the truck. “Wow, that was fast.”
They watched the truck pull up to the front of The Garage. It was immaculate. Candy Apple red from the front bumper to the rear mud flaps. Gleaming chrome everywhere else. The driver climbed down from the cab and turned and walked to the front door. The same brilliant red coveralls. He entered the office and looked at Cliff. “Cecil?”
“No,” Cliff said as he pointed to Cecil. “Pretty inconspicuous truck. You hiding from someone?”
The truck’s driver turned toward Cecil. “You have a Lamborghini for me?”
“Yes,” said Cecil. “It is all ready to go.”
“You have the paper work?”
“Right here,” Cecil stated as he passed the file to the driver.
The driver opened the file and pulled a paper from his pocket. He compared the vehicle identification number from his paper and the one in the file. “Where is it?” he asked.
“Right there,” Cliff pointed into the shop.
The driver immediately walked out into the shop and checked the VIN number on the car. “Okay. Bring it out.”
Cliff looked at Cecil’, “He’s charming.” Cecil smirked. Cliff looked out at the parking lot. Yeah there were still some “Trenchcoats” out there. Oh well. Cliff got into the car and slowly backed it out and placed it behind the truck’s trailer. Instead of a typical car carrier the truck’s trailer was fully enclosed. Cliff looked inside when the driver opened the door. The inside of the trailer was more impressive that the outside. All brushed aluminum and stainless steel. “Geez,” Cliff said. “I’d be happy living in there.”
The driver looked at Cliff and didn’t say a word. He was lowering the ramp and said to Cliff “Drive it in.”
“Oh no,” Cliff laughed. “It’s your problem now. I am not scratching it.”
The driver brushed passed Cliff and lowered himself into the car. In a flash he had it in the back of the trailer. “You’ve done that before,” Cliff joked.
The driver secured the car, and closed up the trailer. As he was walking back to the cab Cliff yelled, “Good trip.” There was no reply and Cliff wasn’t expecting any. He watched the truck pull out of the parking lot and drive down the road. He walked back inside and looked at Cecil, “Nice guy. Warm”.
Cecil laughed, “I guess you don’t get that rich without being a little nutty.
Cliff was shocked. “That was they owner?”
“I think so, yeah.”
Cliff walked over to the key board for Flanagan’s keys. As he walked out to the parking lot he looked around. The “Trenchcoats” were gone. Weird. He started up the old Daimler and moved it into the shop to his hoist.